AN elderly man was assaulted by a sneak-in burglar who stole a watch and bracelet from him.
The offender gained entry to the address, on Binsby Gardens, Gateshead via an unlocked back door as the man slept on the sofa, at 1pm, on Friday, February 28.
"The householder was disturbed by the burglar as he made his way to an upstairs bedroom. When confronted, the thief assaulted the occupant before making off from the property with a bracelet and watch," a Northumbria Police spokesman said.
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"The elderly man received minor injuries only.
"Investigations into the burglary are continuing today and police are keen to speak to any witnesses."
Patrols have also been stepped up in the area to offer reassurance to residents.
Detective Constable Debbie Ridley, from Gateshead Area Command CID, said: "Our enquiries are continuing today and we're keen to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time to contact us.
"Anyone whose been offered jewellery such as a watch or bracelet for sale following this incident should also get in touch.
"Neighbourhood officers are patrolling the area and anyone with concerns should speak to them."
People can contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 617 28/02/14, or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Residents can also contact their Neighbourhood Policing team via 101 or the Northumbria Police website, www.northumbria.police.uk, where crime prevention advice is also available.